The pilot set the stage of Once Upon a Time, introducing the two separate worlds and the character counterparts, all in a very broad sense. "The Thing You Love the Most," though, focuses on Regina/the Evil Queen, and gives the audience a real enemy to root against. It's firmly established that the Queen, in both the fairy tale and the present, is heartless and there is little question who the bad guy is at the end of the episode.
By the end of the episode Henry and Emma are on board with "Operation Cobra" and have their targets set. Emma, motivated by Regina's duplicity, is now much more invested than she was last week. What remains to be seen, however, is whether she really believes Henry's stories or is just going along so he doesn't think she thinks he's crazy.